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TRAININGmag Review

Games at Work

by Kassia Shishkoff

April 13, 2009

Training mag - Games at Work ReviewWith the poor economy, stress levels are high and job security is down. In these conditions, workers are more likely to play "office games"—hidden agendas, manipulations and basic unproductive and malicious behavior—that offer them an escape from the workplace.

In the new book Games at Work, authors Mauricio Goldstein and Philip Read identify and address many of these office games created by today’s environment. The authors kick off the book by explaining what office games are and defining a few specific ones and then get right into how to go about avoiding these problems.

A few common office games include "Gotcha," where employees act like catching someone else’s mistake is an accomplishment; "Blame," in which people blame scapegoats to excuse themselves; and "Pessimism," when individuals make a task seem more difficult to lower expectations.

Goldstein and Read explain the negative impacts games can have on a business and why they have such an effect. The authors then urge the reader not to participate in such games and outline effective ways to carry out their choice, using the acronym AIM—Awareness, Identification, Mitigation—to outline appropriate steps to take.

Games at Work is full of bullet points, checklists and challenges directed at the reader. These make it simple to remember important ideas and easy for the reader to interact with the book, self-evaluate and improve.


Click here for the original article at trainingmag.com.

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Games of the Month

Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.


Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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